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Lambeth invitation 'not possible' for Robinson

New Hampshire bishop encourages other bishops to attend, says he will visit Canterbury

[Episcopal News Service] The House of Bishops was informed March 10 that full invitation is "not possible" from the Archbishop of Canterbury to include Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as a participant in this summer's Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops.

Robinson, addressing the House, urged the other bishops of the Episcopal Church to participate fully in the conference, and thanked all who are willing to "stay at the table."

Robinson told the House that he respectfully declined an invitation to be present in the conference's "Marketplace" exhibit section.

Robinson confirmed for ENS that he plans to be in Canterbury during the July 16-August 3 once-a-decade gathering, but not as an official conference participant or observer.

Word about the invitation came in a report from three U.S. bishops, speaking in the House's late-afternoon session, who worked with Lambeth Palace staff to seek provision for Robinson's participation in the conference.

The House of Bishops is in session through March 12 at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.

Robinson, an openly gay man ordained a bishop in 2003, was informed last year that an invitation to the Lambeth Conference would not be extended to him at that time.

More detailed reports will follow from Episcopal News Service and the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs here.

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The Rev. Harold T. Lewis
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